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tv   The Kudlow Report  CNBC  March 20, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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on. notice the companies that did well today. they are based in the usa. they sell into the usa, and they are doing terrifically in the usa, and that's why they weren't able to be brought down by some comment by an australian mining company that at one point would have sent the s&p down 2%. welcome to the real world where we can analyze companies. hey, larry, what do you have for us? >> jimmy looks like a big night for mitt romney 234 illinois, and i battle a leading democrat over paul ryan's budget. good evening, everyone. i'm larry kudlow. this is "the kudlow report." the polls in illinois close in less than an hour. it could be a big night for mitt romney, and i have a message from my friend newt gingrich. newt, it's time to get out of the race. plus, congressman paul rooen releases a dramatic new budget plan. it slashes taxes, spending and the federal debt, and i take on a democratic leader.
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we disagree face-to-face. and is russia's bad boy vlad peer putin about to push up oil prices even higher? plus, will the saudis bring them back down? all right. first up this evening, looks like mitt romney is poised take illinois and tent's republican primary. polls close in less than an hour, and cnbc's own john harwood joins us now with all the latest on the race. good evening, john. >> good evening, larry. you know, mitt romney in polls in the last couple of days heading into this primary had opened up a lead. the average in real clear politics.com this afternoon was ten points for mitt romney. if he could get a victory like that, this could be very important in this race. there are two arguments going on in the race. one is about delegate math. the other is about momentum. on delegate math, rick santorum was out today talking about how he actually can expect to claim more delegates than nbc and other news organizations are crediting him with. you see from these numbers, he is saying he will get over 300, and those selected so far.
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he also has to make a momentum argument. he has to break through, larry, in some of the states, big midwestern states where mitt romney has been able to hold him off like he did in michigan and ohio. if rick santorum cannot punch through here in the state of illinois, is he going to have difficulty carrying on establishing momentum. he does have louisiana coming up, and if you look at these polls, you see the -- mitt romney ten-point lead in the state of illinois. four-point lead for rick santorum in louisiana. if santorum were to lose tonight, that lead could be in jeopardy, and if mitt romney could go to an away game in the deep south and win a primary like that, he could take a step, larry, towards shutting this race down. >> all right. many thanks to john harwood. i completely agree with you. romney has to -- he has the mow in illinois. could spill over. is this a game over for the other republican candidates if mitt takes illinois? here now we have david corn, mother jones washington bureau chief and author of the new book "showdown," andy puzner is the
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ceo of ckt restaurant and the operator of wendy's, and national communications director for the santorum campaign. hoagie, welcome to the show. i just want to spend a minute with you. i had a great interview with rick santorum on the radio this weekend. he was very optimistic. the latest numbers out of illinois do not look good for you. how do you think illinois is going to shake out? >> well, right now it looks like mitt romney may pull illinois out. we had a strong showing there. being outspent 20-1 in chicago and the areas around the city hurt, but, i mean, that's part of the game. we've talked about this for a long time. look, it's not about one state. it not about one poll. this is a long process. we have a structure in place that keeps us at a very, very low burn rate, and we're conservatives after all, and we're pushing and go to louisiana next and then, of course, pennsylvania and wisconsin, and, you know, we've got a long fight on our hands, and we're prepared. >> all right, hogan, let me ask
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you this. again, when i intvd rick santorum on the radio, he was talking to me about economic growth and tax cuts and budget cuts and so forth. i have been reading and hearing on the campaign trail, he is saying he doesn't care what unemployment is going to be. he is now moving more towards an evangelical christian message. is he off message in illinois, and is that hurting him in that moderate state? >> well, if that's all he were talking about, then you would be absolutely right, but that's not, and, of course, the unemployment comment was taken extremely out of context. i'll have -- i'll remind you that when mitt romney made the comment that he likes firing people, the first person they asked about was rick santorum, and rick said, no, that's capitalism. he can do that if he wants to. conversely, when rick says he is nott totally focused on unemployment, mitt romney tries to capitalize on it. the bottom line here is rick was talking about a broader picture, and if this election is not just about unemployment numbers, a percent here or there, these are people's lives we're talking about. he is focused on how you get freedoms back to those people.
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how we can create jobs. it's about the unemployment rate, but it's not the centerpiece of his campaign. he is focused on broader ideas, bolder activisions, and that's the difference. the problem is he didn't have a good record on it. when your state is 47 out of 50 in job creation, and the two worst states are mississippi and louisiana who are hit by krart, how do you make the case to the people that you are the jobs guy? regardless of all that, that's the only thing mitt romney is talking about. >> i hear you. let me go to andy puzner. >> thanks, larry. >> on the other hand, it's funny, mitt romney may be a little off message too. romney is quoted as saying, okay, the economy is improving, jobs are rising, so now he has gone on to gas prices. now, i understand gas prices are important, but romney has tax cuts. he has budget cuts. he has spending cuts. he has a pro business record. is he off message, andy? >> i don't know if he is off message. i think the broader message is the economy has to get better,
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and you can't look at one particular instance, and you can't look at just unemployment or just gas prices. those are the things that people recognize. if you know machine smaets unemployed if you had to buy gas today, those are things that appeal to people, and i think bring the message home, but the broader message is the economy is a mess. the economy has been headed in the wrong direction for a long time, and even if you get some economist or college professor or statistician to come in and say this particular aspect is getting better or that aspect, it doesn't mean the economy is getting better overall, and we have one county who has the entrepreneurial experience, the experience in the private sector who can fix things, run small businesses, big businesses. we don't need another senator who has no private sector experience. i think that's the message, and the gas prices or unemployment are just a part of the message. >> david corn, you have heard a little -- you have heard both sides. i am going to use you as my favorite referee. what's your thinking analyst hat on. what are you hearing? >> you know, i feel sorry for both andrew and hogan. hogan has to get out there and
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defend rick santorum saying i care about the things other than the unemployment rate, things that are more foundational, and andrew, you know, has to defend a guy who got out there, i think, today or yesterday, mitt romney, and said the economy is bouncing back. it's getting better. his argument is it would get even better better, betterest if he had been president instead of barack obama. so these are hard propositions in the middle of a campaign to push forward, and both campaigns are attacking the other for not being true conservatives when it comes to the economy. mitt romney says that, listen, you know, rick santorum, he doesn't care about the unemployment rate, and he is a big government type of guy, and rick santorum is attacking romney for wanting to run the economy, faz that's a bad thing. so there's a lot of conflict going back and forth. maybe this will sort itself out after illinois or louisiana, but i think in the long run, larry, it's going to be very hard for hogan's candidate to sustain this challenge to mitt romney.
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it seems republican voters are resigned to accepting mitt romney as, huh, the nominee? >> you heard what david corn said, hogan. can you stay in the race? by the way, am i wrong to suggest -- i haven't seen or heard newt gingrich. i don't know where he is. he although to drop out of the race. just make it formal, suspend his race. that's question number one. question number two, how does rick santorum, as david corn suggested -- how does rick santorum sustain this thing if he gets whooped tonight? >> well, first of all, we would never call on speaker gingrich to get out, but we think that would help us greatly if he did. we're not pushing him, but the fact remains we think we would do well if he got out of the race, and we have a one-on-one with mitt romney. as far as sustaining this, look, the media is so quick to write an obituary or resurgence for any one candidate any one week. remember, last week mississippi and alabama, one candidate said that they were going to win both. the other candidate said they had to win both, and we were just saying, hey, we'll see you in illinois and we'll see you in louisiana, and so we've been
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pretty consistent. we don't get too high. we don't get too low. we know we've got a long campaign ahead, and that's the candidate we've got. he is ready for the fight. he has been a fighter his whole career. we're going to keep fighting until we get that 1,144. >> thank you very much from the santorum campaign. andy, thanks for coming on. david corn, as always, spot on. now, we have two important stories impacting oil markets. in a moment we're going to talk with russian expert dina on how russia's bad boy vladimir putin is trying to get oil prices higher, but will saudi arabia upset russia and bring prices down? here's what the saudis said a little more than a month ago. please take a listen. >> we will not let the price of oil go more than $100, which means you can use our leverage, our excess capacity to be sure -- to pump more if 23450eded to be sure to have it not to go to honest dur yeahs. >> that was the prince on february 6th. obviously oil did go above $100 a barrel, and it remains over
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that mark. now the saudis are saying they believe the price isn't fair. here is cnbc's own sharon eperson. >> larry, the promise of more supplies from the saudis had an impact on the oil markets. saudi oil minister talking about storage levels, ten million barrels and talking about how much they could pump. 12.5 million barrel az day and how much their capacity they have. 2.5 million barrels a day. perhaps that may be enough to calm the oil markets. traders say look at what happens to brent crude prices. they only sell about $1 or so on these comments, and that leads them to believe the iranian risk premium is still in full effect. back to you. >> all right. many thanks to sharon eperson. higher oil prices, a political hot potato here in the u.s. of course. the bad boy, is he trying to rig prices higher? here now to explain is dina, international politics for examiner.com. welcome, dina. putin, does he need higher oil prices to get more money,
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because he basically bought the election promising pensions and wages and salaries and whatever. is that what's going on here? >> i like how you introduce him as the bad boy of russia. >> bad boy. he is the bad boy. >> i guess if you have your photograph taken once or twice without a shirt on, you are automatically the bad boy. absolutely, he needs oil prices to be very high. he made a lot of promises throughout the campaign. he said he would increase wages for doctors and teachers. he said he would refurbish the military arsenal and he would pad those pension payments. how is he going to pay for it? he needs those oil prices. >> he was buying off the pro testers before that election, was he not? he sees them kong gating in and around moscow. he says to himself, self, i'm just going to buy them all over just like -- he is such a corrupt guy. now, how does he get oil prices higher? that's the tricky part. if he cuts supply, that will cut his income. >> well, the thing is that he can't, you know, make the prices higher himself, but what he can do is make these politically calculated moves. we're in an atmosphere of the
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unknown. what is the united states going to do in temz of iran? in terms of syria? is what is israel going to do? that atmosphere creates a tremendous opportunity for russia because oil prices are rising. what they're going to do is they're going to stall. they're going to stall in the u.n. decisions and other decisions to keep this sort of atmosphere of tension because that's advantageous to them. >> he will continue to help iran with every bone in his body to make miss chuf create international tensions and raise oil prices. >> it's a, well, we're really concerned about the situation, but some of our scientists are there helping us. they're trying to play both sides, but, again, the important thing here is that they're stalling. they need this time. they need this time of pressure. they need this time of the unknown. this time of tension. in that time, that's when the oil prices go up. >> right now with brent crude around $125 a barrel -- i'm using brent, european crude -- what does that mean for the russian economy? up, down, sideways? what? >> it's good. it's going to take about $115 a barrel for the budget to be
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stable. before it was -- >> $115. 50. >> 115. >> oh, 15. that's the price that economists i've spoken to have thrown around. >> we have to figure out how long this is going to last. i mean, the situation with iran is not going to resolve itself any time soon, but these resources are not infinite, and he has to figure out a way to diversify the economy. that's one of the fundamental differences between putin and medicine veried. >> putin is diversifying his own power. he is not a guy that is going to liberalize the economy. >> the protests have shown that he is not as invincible as many would have thought, but, look, there's no underestimating his power. he hz a tremendous amount of power. he will for many, many years to come. you know, these protesters, it's great that they came out, but i don't think it's going to change much. >> thank you very much, dina. we appreciate the update. next on tonight, how to make money if a stock market correction kicks in. also ahead, steve liesman gets up close and personal with fed
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chairman ben bernanke who lectured at george washington university today. bernanke caught off guard and was candid with our own steve liesman. that's next. don't forget, completely unlike russia. free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity. wait a minute. russia could do it too. they started. will putin continue? we'll see. we'll be right back. an airline has planes... and people. and the planes can seem the same so, it comes down to the people. because, bad weather the price of oil those are every airlines reality. and solutions won't come from 500 tons of metal and a paint job. they'll come from people. delta people. who made us one of the biggest airlines in the world. and then decided that wasn't enough.
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so who's in control now, mayans?
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stock market work. the dow is down 69 points. the nasdaq off 230ur. the s&p also down four points today. jim cramer says it's an opportunity for buyers. good evening, jim cramer. >> the down side lacks as much punch as the wrup side did the second half of last year. no matter what seems to happen, a decline brings in buyers not sell it's a remarkable thing to behold. going no further than today's action in apple. the ipad is hot potato story today. i thought it would be like the bogus and something that hammered the stock and shorts piled on, journalists, pundits went gonzo about how it dent work. got a quick fix for those that needed it, and then all is. . not until the shorts got their pound of flesh. today we got a sliver. we slapped a band-aid on apple, and the neck thing you know it's back to health. finishing up $4.86. near the high today. how about the incredible
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comeback today in baernk of america? here's a stock that's been nothing but net, and then it got caught in a short elisser net after someone leaked a false story about a secondary. so anxious to own a piece of the beatin down bank. appear zoj, it's so kindle that the kindle fire is getting doused by the ipad, but they offer coupons and create buzz with the acquisition, and it roars ahead. all these would have gone down and stayed down last year. now, everything that seems to bounce for the canvas to score knockouts. supply brings out buyers. shorted stocks bring out buyers. what brings out a second round of sellers after -- we don't know yet. maybe oil. maybe the oils get hammered tomorrow. in this tape, who knows. declines are buying opportunities until proven otherwise. i sense that buying out oil, down a couple of bucks will make you money. not lose you money. and i, well, let's say i'm bullish, but i would like to wait and see. that would be the group to buy tomorrow. back to you. >> all right, jimmy cramer. thank you very much. now, steve liesman got up close and personal with fed chairman ben bernanke. it all happened while bernanke
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was lecturing at george washington university, and steve scored this exclusive interview. please take alisten. >> how are you? >> steve, how are you doing? >> can i ask you a couple of questions? >> sure. >> how does it feel to be back at school? >> awesome. i was a professor for 23 years. >> yeah. and i love talking to students and it's a great chance for me. >> drou prefer answering questions of journalists and senators -- do you prefer students to journalists and senators? >> sometimes, yeah, i think i might. >> tell us why a fed chairman would come and teach a course at a university as a way of communicating? >> well, to be honest, i started off doing this just for my own interest really because i haven't taught for a while. i really enjoy talking to college students. i frequently have college students at the fed, you know, just to engage with them, but it's -- it looks like it's going to be a good educational opportunity with george washington setting up the course as they have and with all the technology, you know, that allows us to stream the lectures
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and provide videotapes and so on. i think it was -- it's going to be a good opportunity to talk about the context of the crisis and what the fed did. >> if student razed his hand and asked how is the world going to be different for me, will the economy be different for me after i graduate? what can you tell them as a result of the crisis? >> the me is still challenging, and unemployment is still high, and that creates problems for everybody, obviously. that's the honest answer. but i think the longer term prospects for the country are very good, and ultimately things will normalize, but in the short run, of course, we're still dealing with important challenges. >> one quick current question. interest rates are up recently, and so people are concerned about what that means for the economy and we did a fed survey that showed that people think that the fed won't be on hold until 2014. what can you say about the recent rise in interest rates? >> well, you know, i'm here to talk about history and about the
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fed's role in the crisis and so on. we're going to continue to analyze, you know, the financial data we get, and the committee is going to look at everything that's happened. of course, it's an interesting period now because we've seen some improvement. we still have a long way to go. we're going to keep looking at it. >> i thought one way i could ask and you might want to answer, will interest rates still be exceptionally low when a junior graduates? >> i don't know. depends on how good their coursework is. if they get lou in time. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> all right. there's that cop-out on that last question. anyway, many thanks to steve liesman. good work, steve. you heard from bernanke. you heard from jim cramer. we've seen such an incredible run-up in stocks and a small decline may not be such a big surprise. question, is a bigger correction coming, and if it does, how do you protect yourself? here now is steven chis weis, fast money contributor, author of "the billion dollar mistake" and michael ozanian, forbes magazine national editor. michael, you are looking for a -- you have been looking for a correction. how do you protect yourself?
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>> larry, i would be into cash, and i would be ready on a big pullback if i really believed in equities, and if i really believed that the economy was rebounding, which i do not. look, larry, let's look at what the people running these companies are doing. they're selling their stocks like mad. it's a sucker's game. they are using company's money to buy huge amounts of stock. >> insider stock. >> insiders selling right now. the insiders selling to buying ratio is as high as it was last spring, and according to trintabs it's the highest on record. >> is that a good indicator, or are they just taking profits? >> i don't use it as an indicator at all, frankly. insiders selling, insider buying. stock has become such a big part of insiders compensation that, of course, they are going to, you know, sell some of their position down as improvements, but they take a different view. i'll bullish on the market. i think we'll hit a bump in the road as europe goes into a deeper recession, as the slowdown in china, which wasn't news today, as that hits more. overall, i do think the u.s. economy has improved. >> if the market corrected 5%,
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for example, where would you jump in? in other words, as it's correcting, what would you say to folks? >> i think technology is the best space you can be in right now, and as we've talked about in the show before and on your radio show, u.s. banks, particularly jp morgan, because they are picking up such incredible share. we wondered where they were going to replace dodd frank income from that they're losing to regulation. they're replace it from europe. not only from europe, but to asia also because the european banks from big lend hers. they come with their steady books as the european banks are still deleverage and just picking up tremendous share and picking up good share. >> michael ozanian. you sound bearish. can i ask you a funny question. japan is up 20% year-to-date. they are recovering from the dreadful earthquake and all that went with that. would you buy japan? >> i would be very, very mild. one thing is their dividend yields are virtually nothing. i like yield right now as a way
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to save -- i like alteria that will pay me a 5% yield and a lot of cash. i still like commodities because bernanke is crushing the dollar. look, i know the unemployment rate is down to 8.3%. real wages and salaries over the last three months what people actually have to spend is down 1.4%. we've become poorer. >> china does not help commodities if china is soft. are you betting that china is going to come back faster? >> yeah, i think china is going to come back 6%, 7% growth. i think china is a growth story. i don't think they're about going to hell in a hand basket. >> can i make a pitch for japan. nobody wants japan except japan is up 20% year-to-date. >> it is, but -- >> it is in a recovery. >> the demographics are terrible. they're coming off what was a natural disaster low. let me take the other side of china and commodities. i think -- i wouldn't touch commodities. i'm short some commodities. gold to me is an emotional trade. you can't even figure out how to value it. nobody i go to can figure out how to value it. what's the fear level?
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>> gold has built in like a 50% inflation rate. >> yeah. >> we've been correcting. is gold going to continue to correct? >> i think it will because a lot of people got in late looking for gold 3,000, gold 4,000. we've seen this before. it's the housing bubble. i think gold comes down. i think steel continues to come down. i'm short steel because while china -- >> what would you go long? >> what would i go long? i would go long technology. stay with tech. health care i like too. i'm not sure if obama care gets through or not, but there's a lot of fear in the stock that will get upheld. >> you're in inflation. you are worried about inflation. money is growing. bank loans where are growing. would you buy gold back on the dip? >> i believe unlike steve, i'm sure there's going to be another huge round of quantitative easing, not just in the united states, larry, but in europe they're going to need another bailout there. >> gold says no. gold says qe in europe is already in the gold market. qe in the united states is not in the gold market. >> it's going to raise rates before they have said they're going to. they're the worst forecasters on the planet.
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>> that's what gold cab telling. >> they're going to raise rates. maybe it's in the middle 2013. it's surely not the end of -- >> steve weis, mike, thank you very much. next up on "kudlow" represent ti paul ryan's plan. he gave it to us straight today. what's it going to mean for your tacks? the reaction from the democrats, the vice chair of the house democratic caucus. he is with me tonight. we will debate, paul ryan. face-to-face. more "kudlow report" in just two minutes. i remember the day my doctor told me i have an irregular heartbeat, and that it put me at 5-times greater risk of a stroke.
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pradaxa is progress. if you have afib not caused by a heart valve problem, ask your doctor if you can reduce your risk of stroke with pradaxa.
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house budget chairman paul ryan unveiled his new pro-growth budget proposal this morning. earlier on ""squawk box"" i asked chairman ryan about how his plan will get spending and deficits under control. please take a listen to what he told me. >> later, we proposed to cut $5.3 trillion in spending off the president's spending over the next ten years. deep spending cuts clearly, but that's what'sed needed we think to get our debt under control. it takes a long time to balance the budget. the cbo says under their current baseline, you know, it takes a long time to balance it, but we clearly get debt underneath its dangerous levels and we get the debt completely paid off in this. if we have faster economic growth, which we think would result from tax reform. >> even under a reform plan, even under tougher spending cuts, which you are producing, we're still going to have these lingering continuous deficits and debt increases. can america afford that, or do we have to go more draconian in the next five to ten years? >> we need more economic growth.
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if we get more economic growth, then all those numbers are dramatically improved. if we get more economic growth, we can show how that works, and then we could balance this whole thing within the ten-year window, so the key is prosperity and economic growth. now, we do bring the debt and the deficit down dramatically compared to the president. we get under what we call primary balance almost immediately. we're bringing the size much government spending down below 20% of gdp within a few years. >> let me put in my 2 cents on paul ryan's plan. supply side tax reform first. new incentives from lower personal rates. 10% to 25% brackets. corporate rate at 25%. all this can grow the economy over 4% in the next decade. of like reagan's tax reform in the 1980s. plus, tax simple fiction. get rid of the upper end loopholes, kronyism for folks that don't need it with the offset of lower rates. and the ryan budget slashes spending by $5.3 billion over
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ten years. it limits and reforms government. it lowers the budget gap by $3.3 trillion. here's a good number. ryan also brings debt to gdp down to 62%. that compared to president obama's 80%. and our bankrupt medicare system will finally be reformed through a hybrid choice between the existing fee for service and a new pro-market option. joining me now is the distinguished javier, the vees chairman of the house democratic caucus, democrat from california. all right, javier, thank you for coming on the show. i see tax reform. i see spending cuts. i see entitlement reform. it's like simpson-bolles. i like the package. what's your take? >>. >> you see a lot of things in a budget that has very few details and, in fact, it's a budget that has a lot of talk but no real action in it. there is nothing that talk about how he will reform the tax code, except for boilerplate language about reforming the code?
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in fact, i don't think the republican budget in the house goes after one tax loophole and does nothing to try to eliminate all those tax breaks that are costing us trillions of dollars. you read a lot more into it than what i have seen in the 100 pages. >> javier, i'll concede that we don't have all the details, but what ryan said to us this morning and what he has said since then that, yes, he wants to limit those tax reductions. he wants to stop those krony carve-outs, and he believes particularly the upper end payers should not get those carve-outs yen more, and to some extent that's tax fairness, is it not? >> sure. larry, paul ryan also said he wanted the budget control act legislation last year that required sequester of all these different programs in the budget and now he is breaking that promise having voted for the budget control act last year and now he is saying he wants to renege on the deal when it comes to see wester for certain
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programs. paul ryan might say one thing, but he has shown that he will do something else. >> let me leave the sequester alone. they want to reallocate spending cuts away from defense. you got a point there. let me just -- >> that's a big point, larry. you can't just dismiss it because they're talking about trillions of dollars over the next ten years. >> i want to ask your take. look, the medicare system is unfunded by over $60 trillion in the next, i don't know, 40 or 50 years. ryan is making a stab at reform. keep the existing system in place, put some caps on upper end beneficiaries, and then go to a pro-market and choice option for people that want to opt out. what do you want to do about medicare entitlements? don't you give ryan some credit at all, javier? >> well, i would give him credit if he found a way to bring health care costs down rather than just cut the cost to the federal government and shift those costs on to seniors. a congressional budget office essentially is telling us the way paul ryan and the republican budget saves money in health care and medicare is by essentially telling seniors you no longer have a guarantee.
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you'll notice get less money. you'll get a coupon essentially to go buy your health care, and you have to make due with the coupon. anything beyond that in health care costs, you pay out of pocket. that's far different from a medicare guarantee, and that's why the ryan budget actually ends medicare and turns it into coupon care. that may be good in the minds of some, but it does nothing to help seniors who are going to have to foot the bill for these tax cuts that he has in place for very wealthy -- >> the fee for service plan will stay in place. there will be some lids for upper end beneficiaries. what i -- >> no, it won't. no, it won't. >> the premium support system is going to be based on income. it's essentially means tested. if you want to buy a cadillac plan, you have the right to buy tshg but the 3r50e78 yum support won't corps it. it why is that not right? for people under 55 years old, the systems going bankrupt, why not? >> well, because, larry, whether you and i want to discuss it or disagree, it's what the congressional budget office that says should guide us, and they say what you said is not true.
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what they essentially say is that the ryan plan does not have the value of that coupon, health coupon keep pace with the cost of medical inflation, and, therefore, every year those who qualify under medicare would no longer receive a guarantee. they would simply receive a coupon. that's why it's no longer medicare. >> if they go into the new system. if they go into the new system. if they stay in the existing system, they'll be fine. >> but this is the difficulty, larry, and this is perhaps the most pernicious part of the ryan plan that people don't look at. who is going to want to stay in the medicare system where there's a guarantee? folks that are sickest. the folks that are poorest. the folks who need the care. who is going to want to stay out of it? the healthiest, the wealthiest, the youngest? when you take out the healthiest, wealthiest, and the youngest, you are left with a program -- essentially a poverty program, that will increase your cost, and while ryan doesn't say it, that's what he creates. that's why it devastates medicare. >> you don't think competition will lower costs, javier, as it has in every other economic
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sector? >> certainly it can, but, larry, you'll have to agree with me that right now the cost of health care in the private sector through private insurance plans is going up at a faster rate than the cost of medicare, so medicare is still a better deal cost-wise, than it is to private plans. >> you are an old friend. it's going bankrupt. the medicare system is going bankrupt, javier. every actual airist has said that. how do you want to fix it? >> if medicare is going bankrupt, then what is the department of defense, which is spending twice as much as it was spending five, six years ago. where is the money for department of defense? there is no -- at least medicare has a stream of money because taxpayers provide a stream of money to medicare. there is money still in the trust fund for medicare. there's no money for defense or no money for veterans. there's no money for medication. >> we cut spending, don't we? ryan has $5 trillion in spending cuts. >> it has a stream of funds that keeps it going tore several years. >> come on. medicare has made promises. that revenue stream is falling
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further and further behind. let me just ask -- >> you don't control health care costs, then you're correct. we will have problems. you can't say medicare is bankrupt. unlike -- >> i can. that's what every actual aerialist has said. >> the fact and the money belie what you just said because there is money on medicare. we do have to control health care costs, but you don't control health care costs by simply cutting the amount that seniors can use to pay for their health care. you have to control overall health care costs. >> all right. >> everyone will tell you that, larry, that you have to control overall health care costs. private sector and public sector. >> i'm not going to persuade you tonight. i appreciate the fact that you came on. we will agree to disagree. you are opposed to it. i like what ryan is doing. javier, california, thank you very much for coming on. >> good to be with you. >> i appreciate it. >> all right, folks. if you like reading the "new york times" on-line for free, we have some bad news for you after the break. also ahead, the president gets tough on china kind of, sort of. we'll be back in two minutes. i'm sticking with ryan on this.
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welcome back to the kudlow report. here is some other headlines you need to know about tonight. a strong earthquake rocked the members can resort town of
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acapulco this afternoon measuring 7.4 on the richter scale. the quake was felt in mexico city, lasted for about a minute, and wrashgably, there were only minor injuries and little damage. the "new york times" is further limiting nonsubscribers access to on-line content. starting next month you only will be able to get ten free articles on-line a month rather than 20. "the times," however, says it has gained 450,000 paid digital subscribers since putting up the pay wall last year. the u.s. will impose modest import duties on chinese solar panels. about 5%. the commerce department agreed with the claims by several u.s. manufacturers. china has unfairly been giving subsidies to its panel makers. shares of hewlett-packard up slightly in after hours trading. hp is merging its printing and personal computer units to cut costs. late word tonight the senate will vote on the house version of the stalk act on thursday. that calls for a formal end to insider trading from members of
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congress. next up tonight, senator jim demint, a key vote today on a scaled back jobs bill. we'll get this republican's take and we have a few other topics to get on as well. we're about 15 minutes from the polls closing in the gop primary in illinois. please stay tuned. 6 [ male announcer ] the next generation of lexus
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you think a simple jobs bill for start-up companies and small business would be able to get through the senate, but apparently not so, let's talk to our great friend senator jim demint, republican of south carolina, to find out why. senator, welcome back, as always. what's holding up this bill? are democrats holding up this bill? >> larry, we thought this afternoon we were ready to pass a bipartisan jobs bill that was
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sent over by the house. we know a lot of democrats want to vote for it. harry reid decided he didn't want a victory from bipartisanship, and he adjourned the senate so we couldn't vote for it. i think we'll come back in the morning and vote on it, but the president supports it. lots of democrats supported it in the house. i think they just want to keep the do nothing congress as the image, so doing something is probably not what they want to do. >> when you reckon this thing comes to the floor? senator, let me be clear. this is for financing and registering new start-up companies, small businesses, making it a little easier around the edges if i'm not mistaken. take the s.e.c., take sarbanes-oxley a little bit back so we can start these up? is that about right? >> it just helps small companies go public or capitalize at a higher level with more investors without falling under this very expensive rules, so it doesn't cost taxpayers anything.
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it's easy. the -- it's ain't partisan issue. it makes sense, so the fact that they want passage just means that they want to stick something else on it to get it through at the same time, and, unfortunately, the senate is notorious for that. >> you don't know what it is they want to stick on it? >> yeah. they tried to stick the export bank on to this thing today, but they were trying to increase how much that was capitalized on by 40%. larry, this is a program that started with a $5 million cap. now it's at $140 billion, and every country just keeps raising the ante. it's a lot of loan guarantees for the american taxpayer. it's something we need to debate, and there need to be some reforms. i think most people agreed to that, but senator reid wanted to add that to the jobs bill because he knew a lot of republicans in the house that would want to reform that before it went through. >> a little corporate welfare is what that is for companies this
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really don't need it. taxpayer expense. a couple of things here, quickly. first of all, the house republicans are developing a bill that would relieve some of the regulatory burdens on gasoline prices. do you have anything cooking like that in the senate? obviously, gas prices, page one story. >> no, we don't. at least not that i know of. i know the president is going around the country talking about the issue, but i think this is one of the promises from his campaign that he is actually keeping. apparently he and his energy secretary want the cost of gasoline to go up. i think they're trying to deal with it politically, but they're certainly not doing anything that would actually increase the supply and lower the prices of gasoline. >> you know, if we increase the supply of oil drilling, wouldn't that lower the price? look what happened with natural gas. an explosion of shale. shouldn't that bring prices down in the oil business also? >> it would, larry, and we wouldn't have to wait for a lot
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of this production to come on-line because speculate overs are going to drive prices down if they think the supply is going up. just the way it's working now. they're speculating that it's going to have more demand than supply, so the prices are going up with gasoline. it's just basic economics, and the president is doing everything he can to raise the price of gasoline, so it's hard for me to swallow when he goes to oklahoma later this week and talk about his energy policy. it really is hard to listen to. >> senator, last one this evening. time is always limited, but we appreciate yours. paul ryan's new budget, cut spend, lowers budget deficits. far-reaching pro-growth tax reform, medicare entitlements. what's your quick take on the paul ryan budget? what are you thinking? >> well, he has done a lot of great work, and there's no better thinker in the congress than paul ryan. i frankly think as republicans our commitment so america needs to be that we're going to balance this budget within ten years. i'm not sure paul ryan's budget does that, but it puts us on a
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course to move towards a balanced budget. i would like to be a little more aggressive with the cuts that we face and move things back to the states. >> thank you very much for your time, sir. now, folks, just minutes before the polls close in illinois, we're going check in with amman, who is watching the delegates score card tonight. romney looks tough. much more on kudlow coming up. [ camera shutters clicking ] ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] announcing southwest airlines nationwide sale, with flights all over the country starting at only 69 dollars one-way. hurry and book now, only at southwest.com. ♪
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just seven minutes north
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until the top of the hour with the illinois polls closing, we pulled out our calculator to see what the candidates need to do to clinch the nomination? amman joins us now with the details. good evening. >> good evening, larry. well, so much of this campaign has been about in recent days the delegate math. that is, how many delegates each of these campaigns have amassed so far in their column, and who is the likeliest candidate to amass enough to become the republican nominee? let's take a look at that math right now and show you how many delegates each candidate has amassed so far. mitt romney leading the pack here with 444. rick santorum trailing with 184 delegates. newt gingrich 137 delegates. ron paul with just 34 delegates. the total needed, of course, is 1,144. there are 1,488 delegates left to distribute, so if you do the math and we've had some very smart people calculating this, here's what you have to do to win if you are each one of these
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candidates. if you are mitt romney right now, you need to win 47% of the remaining delegates in order to clinch this nomination. it's a little bit harder for rick santorum. he has to win 64%. newt gingrich, harder still at 67%. and it's all but -- almost out of grasp for ron paul who would need to go on an astonishing 74% run here in the rest of these delegates and the rest of these primaries and caucuses in order to clinch the nomination, so the easiest path here is for romney, but it's certainly not out of the question, larry, for some of these other candidates to stage a late-breaking run and maybe do something really surprising here. >> all right, amman. thank you. please stay with us for a moment. let's bring in cnbc contributor robert costa, the national review. you have probably heard amman. mitt has been winning about half the delegates. i think that's fair. he needs to stay on track in order to get the nomination. is that your reading, robert? does that work? >> that's right, but this is about more than math, lear. it's about how well romney can
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do getting back momentum. remember, he lost in the deep south, lost alabama, mississippi. he wants to come back now. rust belt has been strong for santorum. a big win in i will wile help put romney on the fast track towards the nomination. it's about the message too. he has been focussing on the economy all week. i'm watching those suburbs around chicago to see if that economic message is really going to click. >> we heard he was focussing on gasoline prices more, tax cuts less. >> that's true. energy is important. romney's campaign adapts. they see the headlines. they see gingrich getting a little traction on energy. they want a piece of that pie. romney is trying to have a broader growth message. not just make it about tax reform, but about energy, jobs. everything together. that's what he is going. he is pivoting towards a general election. he wants to go against obama. not so much playing defense against santorum. >> robert, if romney beats santorum by ten points tonight, what does that mean? >> margin is important, larry, because romney has really struggled to get above 50% in almost every single contest. he needs a big win tonight. santorum, if it's a small
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margin, can say i was out spent. romney's machine won this for him. if romney has a ten-point victory, he can point to his message as well. >> you know, larry -- >> yeah, go ahead. >> if i could jump in here. so much of this recent flap with santorum saying, you know, he doesn't care about what the unemployment rate is, that really reflects on where the heart of this campaign is. is this a campaign that's about the economy, or is it about something else? what santorum meant with that comment was that -- >> it's not always about the gas, right, amman? >> it's not dependent on the economic issue. he is campaigning on other things other than the economy. >> remember, this is two stage. you have the chicago suburbs, and you also have south of spring fooed, the capital, a real evangelical base in illinois, and that's what santorum is going at. he is not just trying to focus on the economy. his point with that quote -- it was a gaffe. there were other issues besides the economy, and that's his play when he goes to the convention. he is going to say i am going to represent more than just the
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economic conservative. >> his communications director told me tonight that that was taken out of context. when i interviewed santorum on the radio, he was talking economic growth, so i'm not sure what that is all about. >> i think it's clear -- >> i got to get out, gentlemen. robert, thank you so much. amman, thank you so much. that's it for this evening's show. thanks for watching "the kudlow report." we'll be right back tomorrow evening. a route map shows you where we go. but not how we get there. because in this business, there are no straight lines. only the twists and turns of an unpredictable industry. so the eighty-thousand employees at delta... must anticipate the unexpected. and never let the rules overrule common sense. this is how we tame the unwieldiness of air travel,
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